What do I worship? I don’t worship anything.

This post is the second sequel to WHAT DO ATHEISTS WORSHIP? The first sequel was WHAT DO ATHEISTS WORSHIP? — THE SEQUEL. I misnamed that post. Why? Ben Berwick left a comment that I put enough effort into answering that I thought it worth a post. Here is Ben’s comment.

Ben Berwick

I wager you are correct Tom, in that I do not agree with you, though hopefully, we can indeed agree to disagree. I don’t see worship (and therefore do not see idolatry) in the actions of atheists, but then, as I said in my answer, and as per dictionary definitions, worship is a religious act, and atheism is the lack of belief in religious ideas. I dare say that with or without God, we have to sustain ourselves *somehow*. With or without God, we still look to certain material aspects of existence to have a comfortable life, that does not mean that without God, we seek to worship those aspects as though they *were* God.


Atheism is religious belief. The idea that God doesn’t exist is a religious belief.

Agnosticism is a religious belief. The idea we don’t know whether or not God exists is a religious belief.

What is worship? Worship depends upon who or what we define as the object of our worship, not whether we claim to be a theist or nontheist. Since various religions have wildly different ideas about the nature of our Creator, even whether one exists, human beings have widely different notions of what constitutes worship. Worship is based upon what we believe the object of our adoration requires.

Christians define worship as showing our love for God in everything we do. We put a special focus upon what God has commanded us to do. That includes loving our neighbor. For a Christian, loving someone appropriately is an act that glorifies God. That is why both Matthew 9:13 and Matthew 12:7 echo this verse.

Hosea 6:6 Good News Translation

I want your constant love, not your animal sacrifices. I would rather have my people know me than burn offerings to me.

Some Pagans, on the hand, believe in human sacrifice. One of the reasons the Aztec nation doesn’t exist anymore is that their Christian conquerors did not like their mode of worship.

What about Atheists and Agnostics. Does the fact that Atheists and Agnostics don’t believe in monotheism mean that they don’t have idols, that is, objects and/or things that that drives their behavior and gives them purpose? Of course not.

The fact of our being confronts us with inevitable questions.

  1. Where did I come from?
  2. Who am I?
  3. Why am I here?
  4. How should I live?
  5. Where am I going?

The Bible answers such questions for Christians. Atheists don’t have answers to such questions?

The way we answer those questions determines what we worship and what idols we put before the love we owe our Creator.

Because every human is unique, Atheists and Agnostics have differences among themselves. That’s includes their answers to the above questions. So, different Atheists and Agnostics choose different goals for the lives. Many have values that look very much like Christian values. Some look altogether too much like Pagan values.

That being the case, I can’t say all Atheists and Agnostics focus their lives on getting stuff. All I can say is they say they have no love for God. So, they must love stuff more than they love God.

Who or what is your idol? Who or what do you love the most? Who or what have you devoted your life? For whom or what are you willing to sacrifice the most? When you answer those four questions above, to who or what do you look for your answers?



Add yours

  1. I think we are far too literal for our own good. So “worship” is falsely perceived as some kind of a formal, organized, ritual. It can be, but that is not necessarily the definition of worship. Idolatry is also falsely seen as some kind of formal ritualistic thing, with a concrete and material golden statue or something. It can be, but that’s not actually the definition of idolatry.

    So worship is simply, “the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration.” Insisting that people “respect the science,” was actually all about demanding others engage in reverence and adoration towards an idol.

    God doesn’t demand our worship, He Himself doesn’t “need” our worship personally, and He never insists we leave our brains at the door and stop thinking critically. Those are all human characteristics, symptoms of idolatry and flawed human behavior, often related to manipulation, a desire for power and control.

    1. I agree, but I think there something a bit subtle here I ought to address.

      When Atheists insists God commands us to worship Him — to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength — that is literally correct. Moreover, the threat of Hell sounds awful.

      So, why are Atheists wrong? There are three reasons.
      1. A command indicates God preceptive will. We can disobey, and we do so all the time.
      2. God gives the capacity to love Him through the Holy Spirit, but He doesn’t use the Holy Spirit to force us to love Him. Instead, we love Him because we realize He loves us.
      3. Atheists don’t believe in Hell, supposedly. So, it is a wonder that they claim we are threatening with it

      Hell is separation from the blessings of God. Nobody knows exactly what to make of that, but nobody understands Heaven. In either case, we are to imagine what to expect.

      So, just how awful is Hell? If we don’t love God, isn’t Hell just being given what we want? Does someone who doesn’t love God want to spend eternity with Him? If the answer is no… How many of us have seen Atheist memes about the preferability of Hell over Heaven?





  2. Tom,- Ben Berwick

    Perhaps this following quote and excerpt that may help Ben better understand Tom’s argument that atheism is a religion.

    Quote -You are what you do, not what you say you’ll do. – Carl Gustav Jung It is important to acknowledge the fact that our actions define us and not our choices.

    Excerpt – Atheism in Practice

    Atheism fits many theoretical definitions of religion, and it is also practiced like other religions. In daily conversation, atheism is equated with other religions. When asked, “Are you a Christian?” most atheists will respond with “No, I’m an atheist.” Atheist, then, becomes a religious label just like “No, I’m a Buddhist.”

    Atheists also evangelize, though they do not want to use that word to describe their conversion attempts. “Evangelize” is most commonly used in relationship to Christianity, but it can be used to describe other religion’s attempts to gain converts, and atheism aggressively seeks to create new converts. Many atheists feel a sense of obligation or desire to “open people’s eyes” to what they see as the folly of other religions.

    There is no difference between an atheist attempting to get a Jew to admit there is no God and a Christian seeking to get a Hindu to denounce the idea of reincarnation. Both people are trying to convert a person from one belief system to another. Atheists’ conversion attempts are also blatantly religious because they are focused on beliefs about and in God.


    Regards and goodwill blogging.

      1. Christian theists worship a God because they believe they will gain eternal life. Using your perception, as most Christians also worship sex, alcohol, possessions etc just like atheists do so the Christians are worshiping false gods, just like you reckon atheists are doing, it is so simple. You like to make it appear Christians are doing the same stuff as atheists but because they worship God as well all is ok.

        1. I think you reading things into what I wrote that are not there. If you are going to do that, what is the point in responding to you?

          Suffice to say that you learned from someone that it is wrong to worship sex, alcohol, possessions, and so forth.

          1. Yes Tom alcohol is about health, possessions are greed, sex an obsession and all of these things without moderation adds up to mental health problems. Most people even atheists are aware of this fact.

    1. I believe Buddhism is called a religion. It is atheistic.

      Because of political agendas, widespread indifference, and confusion, we define the words ideology, religion, philosophy, and even science rather loosely. Atheists in particular, because many have political agenda, promote confusion over these words. Why? If your goal is to secularize the public square, especially education, then you have to get around the First Amendment.

      What is a religion? What do all religions have in common? A religion is an ideology designed to answer the big questions in life.

      If you still disagree, please check out the first reference in my post.

  3. I know the meaning of worship — you can worship a movie star for that matter, but when it comes to ‘God’ I wouldn’t want to worship Someone or Something that demands worship, I would believe in him and that would be enough, so in terms of agnosticism, if the agnostic finally ‘sees the light’ so to speak and believes in God he would then possibly worship that belief; but really, worship shouldn’t be a requirement in an enlightened acceptance of ‘God.’

    1. If an agnostic sees the light, he is not an agnostic.

      Whether or not God requires worship, we still have to answer those big questions. How do you distinguish right from wrong. If God does not care, what kind God is that?

      1. ‘If an agnostic sees the light, he is not an agnostic.’ — of course, that goes without saying, perhaps I should have added a line to that effect.
        I’m sorry but you lost me when you went from ‘worship’ to the subject of distinguishing right from wrong? How about this? If an agnostic comes around to believing in God (sans ‘worship’) then he would naturally recognize right from wrong since that is a clear distinction in Christianity, and to believe in God is to be a Christian, is it not? I may be off the mark here, I don’t know, I’m a chronic drinker with severe brain-cell loss, so perhaps I should bow out.

        1. The basic tenets of Christianity are in the Apostle’s Creed. Belief in God is not sufficient, but it is necessary.

          It seems to me that you are stuck on the meaning of the word “worship.” You think a religion is defined by ritual, I guess. Not true. Here is part of a speech given by a man who was one of our presidents.

          I agree that the measure of success is not merchandise but character. But I do criticize those sentiments, held in too many respectable quarters, that our economic system is fundamentally wrong, that commerce is only selfishness, and that our citizens, holding the hope of all that America means, are living in industrial slavery. I appeal to Amherst men to reiterate and sustain the Amherst doctrine, that the man who builds a factory builds a temple, that the man who works there worships there, and to each is due, not scorn or blame, but reverence and praise. — Calvin Coolidge (from his second speech to the Amherst Alumni Association in 1916)

          To a Christian or a Jew, living in accordance with God’s Will and giving Him glory in ALL that we do is worship. Do all who profess to be Christian or Jew succeed in that? No. Only Jesus led perfect life.

    2. An agnostic does not care, claim or to understand God or faith. Agnostic Quasi? I would conclude that without a system of beliefs or liturgy/doctrine— neither religion, or Quasi religion fits into the scope of an agnostic stance. Peace.

      1. What people say about themselves often differs from how they behave.

        When I was 17, I became an Agnostic. When I told my mother, she insisted that I was still a Christian. In a way she was right. I still believed in Christian morality, but there was a problem. I had no basis for my moral code, and I could not call upon the Holy Spirit for strength.

        I remained an Agnostic until I read the Bible in my fifties.

        For the most part, we call people who are not Christians lost. Until we are born again, we are all lost.

        Are there some who have rejected our Lord outright? Yes, but if they repent our Lord will forgive them too.

  4. Cut the bullshit — Atheism is in no way a religion. How can a complete denial and negation of religion and its beliefs be considered a religion in itself. Agnosticism is an acceptable form of quasi religion that questions the truths inherent in true religion.

    1. I think you are asking me to answer again the question I just answered. Yet you have not actually explained what is wrong with my answer. You have just restated Ben’s primary objection.

      I have no idea what to make of this.

      Agnosticism is an acceptable form of quasi religion that questions the truths inherent in true religion.

      Using your own ground Rules, not mine, you don’t make sense. Assuming we don’t if God exists, how do we worship Him? What would we be worshipping?

      Do you have trouble with the definition of worship? The definition doesn’t require us to acknowledge a deity. Look it up.

      Are you too proud to admit your worship someone or something? Why?

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